Hofstra Names School of Communication for Lawrence Herbert ’51

Message from Hofstra President Stuart Rabinowitz:

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am pleased to announce that we are naming the School of Communication for distinguished alumnus Lawrence Herbert, inventor of the Pantone® color matching system, to honor his generous support of the University and his revolutionary impact on print and design.  The Lawrence Herbert Foundation recently made a multi-million dollar commitment, one of the most significant in the University’s history, to support the University and the School of Communication. An academic convocation to celebrate the naming of the school after Herbert will be held in the fall.

Lawrence Herbert is a man who has achieved remarkable success, and has never forgotten where he came from.  He has shown a deep commitment to Hofstra as a benefactor, a volunteer and a trustee, and his life sets an example for all our students about how hard work and entrepreneurial spirit can change the world.  It is with gratitude and great pleasure that we announce the naming of The Lawrence Herbert School of Communication, in recognition of the lasting impact that Larry’s steadfast support has had, and will continue to have for many years to come. It is only fitting that the school bears the name of a man who literally created a new language and in doing so, profoundly changed the way we communicate.

A former member and officer of the Board of Trustees, Lawrence Herbert is an innovator, entrepreneur and philanthropist who was the driving creative force behind the color matching system that became the international standard in hundreds of industries, among them printing, publishing, graphic arts, film and video.  Herbert’s focus and work ethic defined his time at Hofstra, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in biology and chemistry in 1951, while working a full-time job and commuting from Brooklyn.  That same determination propelled him from a post as a temporary color matcher at Pantone to owner, chairman and chief executive officer of the company in just six years.  Pantone quickly grew into a global brand, with facilities in the United States, Great Britain, Germany, Hong Kong and China.

Besides his service as vice chairman of the Hofstra Board of Trustees from 1982 to 1986, Herbert has been honored with the Alumni Achievement Award, the Distinguished Service Award and the Alumnus of the Year Award.  The University awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in 1989, and established the Lawrence Herbert Distinguished Professorship in his honor.  Earlier this year, Herbert was honored at the 17th Annual Hofstra Gala.

Dubbed “the King of Color” in a newspaper profile, Herbert has been recognized by numerous professional organizations for his inventions and contributions to the printing industry, including the Association of Graphic Arts, Britain’s Institute of Printing, and the New Jersey Advertising Hall of Fame.  In addition to his generosity to Hofstra, Herbert and his wife, Michele, are involved in many causes and organizations. Herbert serves on the board of the New York City Ballet and the American Film Institute, and was appointed to the City of New York Cultural Advisory Board by former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and to the New York State Council on the Arts by former Governor George Pataki.  The Herberts are also great supporters of the Miami City Ballet.  Herbert has also received the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations Ellis Island Gold Medal of Honor.

Industry recognition for his inventions, improvements and technical contributions to the printing industry won Herbert the Hall of Fame Award from the New Jersey Advertising Hall of Fame and Gold Medal from Britain’s Institute of Printing.  In 1995, the Association of Graphic Arts presented him with the prestigious Power of Printing Award, “in recognition of his positive influence, creative excellence, exceptional leadership and outstanding achievements throughout the international graphic communications industry.”  In 2001, Herbert received a Platinum Corporate Legend Award from Pratt Institute “for his outstanding contributions to the worlds of design, fashion, art and architecture.”